I know that because I'm a beauty blogger, I have a ridiculously large makeup collection (although it's definitely more stream-lined than it used to be), but it really isn't necessary. Given that most people have spent the last few years moving towards minimalism, I wanted to create a capsule makeup collection, which may help anyone starting out, or those wanted to downsize, or perhaps update their collection. Here you will find everything that you actually need and will use, even if you're an avid makeup lover.
Primer: Actually, this should probably be in the optional category below, as not everyone uses a primer, but I find that my dry skin loves a hydrating primer, I also love one that adds some glow/radiance, and those with oily skin will find a mattifying or gripping primer a big help is getting their makeup to last the distance. Some suggestions: Dry skin - Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, Dull skin - Urban Decay All Nighter Dewy Ultra Glow Face Primer, Oily skin - Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer.
Foundation: This is very personal and can change between the colder and warmer months. My preference is for a lightweight, radiant base and if it offers some blurring properties, that's a bonus! Some suggestions: Dry skin - IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream, Dull skin - Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, Oily skin - Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Foundation, Tinted base - YSL Nu Bare Look Tint*.
Concealer: This will depend on your issues - dark circles, blemishes, pigmentation, and skin type. You may want full coverage, light coverage, a matte finish, hydrating, a multi-tasker - the list goes on! Here are some suggestions: Dark Circles: Rodial Banana Lowlighter (a miracle worker!), Blemishes and Pigmentation: IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer - can be worn anywhere on the face for full coverage concealing.
Powder: Most people use powder - for some, it's an essential and something they'll use again throughout the day, but for those with dry skin (like mine), it's about finding the right one, that won't make your skin look cakey or aged. Some recommendations: Dry skin - By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Powder, Oily skin - Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder, Normal skin - Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder.
Blush: Not everyone loves blush, especially if they have naturally flushed cheeks, but the right shade of blush can really add life to the skin, plus if you have redness in your skin, you can use a green toned corrector to tone it down. Some recommendations: Dry skin - I'd highly recommend using a cream blush, particularly Fenty CheeksOut Freestyle Cream Blush, Oily skin - MAC matte blushes, One to suit all skin types - Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush (variety of shades) or Nars Orgasm (the only blush I've repurchased twice!).
Bronzer: Again, not everyone wears bronzer all year round, so you might leave this out, but I wear it every time I wear makeup. My favourites that would work well on all skin types are: Benefit HOOLA, Nars Laguna and Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Bronzer. Cream bronzers that I highly recommend are Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Bronzer and Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Sun-Kissed Bronzer.
Brows: I think even those who have had their brows laminated still need to touch them up. There is a choice of pencils, gels and pomades. I like al, but if I had to choose just one, it would be the discontinued Marc Jacobs Brow Wow Duo, because it has a fine nibbed pencil on one end, and a gel on a spoolie on the other. This is my last back up, after that I'll probably go between Anastasia Beverly Hills and Benefit, as they offer a range of products and I can choose one that suits me best. Some people just need some hold, others have little gaps, which need to be filled in, and others basically need to create a new set of brows, due to over-tweezing in the '90s/early '00s.
Mascara: Again, personal preference - do you like long, defined lashes? Then I would recommend By Terry Lash Expert Twist Mascara. If you like dramatic, full of volume lashes, I highly recommend trying YSL Faux Cils, if you want curly lashes, try Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Push Up Lashes, and for waterproof lashes, I'll be completely honest and say that I've never found one that I love, however I have seen a lot of people recommend L'Oreal Lash Paradise Waterproof (I love the original version, but have yet to try this version as I get lash extensions in summer).
Eyeshadow: This is the trickiest category for me, as I am a huge eyeshadow fan (addict!). However, the most versatile palette in my collection is Natasha Denona Biba Palette (save 21% on Look Fantastic by using the code BEAUTYLYMIN at checkout). Matte shadows are sophisticated and will work well both day and night, however some brands are chalky. With Natasha's eyeshadows, you are guaranteed pigmentation and buttery soft formulas that are easy to apply and blend. This palette also includes some satins and metallics, which will take you from day to night, plus it includes a black, which I think all palettes should have. If this is too expensive, take a look at Too Faced and Morphe palettes, which are good quality and two different price points.
Lips: A personal option - some people love liners, others never use them, some people love a lip balm, whilst others love a full on pigmented, strong matte colour, some can't be without a red lip. If I had to streamline my collection, I'd use Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Lip Cheat, a nude lipstick (I cannot pick just one right now, but will do so in a future post), and a lip gloss - most probably the Hourglass Volumizing Glossy Balm from my most recent post, as it adds some gloss, but also some volume.
Optional: Not everyone wears eye liner, and if you really wanted to minimise your collection, you could just use a dark eyeshadow and a liner brush, to smudge it along the lash line. Eyeshadow could also be used for your brows, just as bronzer could be used as eyeshadow, or contour (if it isn't too warm or shimmery in tone). Highlighter is another optional product, and an eyeshadow could work if you have a palette to cover all bases. A tinted SPF could double as your everyday base if you don't like full coverage. As you can tell, you really could fit all of your makeup into a small makeup bag if you really wanted to be minimal and aren't lured in by all of the new releases, plus know what works for your skin.
A bonus of a capsule/minimal collection, not just makeup, but clothes etc, is less stress. Sometimes more of anything can mean more stress, but having less can mean that your focus can go on things that are more important to you, as it frees up a lot of headspace. Now if I could only take my own advice........
I'd love to hear your thoughts! Could you ever do a minimal makeup collection?
Thanks for reading!
All products are bought by me, unless otherwise stated. Anything marked with a * has been kindly gifted, without obligation. I don't do sponsored posts. Opinion is always my own. Affiliate links may be used.